General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
70 %
Subject Area
ANLY - Analytical Tech/Skills/Spec
LIFE - Life Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Ted McGowan
Programme Membership
SG_SFORE_G07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Science in Forensic Invest & Analys(Emb) SG_SFORE_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Forensic Science and Analysis SG_SFORE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Science in Forensic Investigation and Analysis SG_SANAL_G06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Analytical Science

This module deals with laboratory instrumentation and applications of information technology for forensic and analytical science.

Students will learn the basic operation, calibration and data processing capabilities of a range of instrumentation used for forensic analysis.  Instrumentation used will include uv-visible, infrared, atomic absorption and chromatographic instrumentation.

Other software applications/techniques used will include drawing two-dimensional chemical structures, determining basic chemical parameters with software (i.e. determination of molecular weights, verifying chemical reactions, etc.) and using a spreadsheet to simulate titrations.

The teaching methods used will be a combination of lectures, self-study, labs, tutorials, and any combination of discussion, case study, problem-solving exercises and computer-based learning.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Describe the components of selected general purpose analytical instrumentation  


Operate, optimise and calibrate selected general purpose analytical instrumentation


Process and present analytical data using spreadsheets.


Collect and process data from modern scientific instrumentation

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered fulltime.  Teaching methodology will employ a problem based learning (PBL) approach. This will be supplemented with introductory lectures, laboratory exercises, independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs. Moodle will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals). Self-assessment tests and other forms of formative assessment are provided to students to check their own progress towards achieving the learning outcomes of the module and to motivate learning.

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 100% Continuous Assessment.  Laboratory skills and report-writing ability are assessed as part of the practical work performed during the module. Regular summative tests are used to encourage engagement with the module, monitor progress and provide feedback.  The continuous assessment will include the following elements: assessment of performance in laboratory exercises (30%); assignments (15%) and practical reports (15%); At least four assessments of combined practical and theoretical ability will be carried out during the semester (40%).

Repeat Assessments

Repeat written assessment and assignments.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

1. Describe the components of selected general purpose analytical instrumentation

FTIR spectrometer

UV-Visible spectrometers including overlay scans

Flame Atomic absorption spectrometers

Ion-selective electrodes, potentiometers

Conductivity meters

Automatic titrators e.g. Karl Fischer method

Gas chromatographs

Regarding Forensic Science Society (FSS) component standard describe the application and  theory relating to a the range of analytical techniques that are available to the forensic scientist, understand the parameters involved in method selection and be able to provide a forensic strategy and an analytical strategy for a given scenario.

2. Operate, optimise and calibrate selected general purpose analytical instrumentation


Practical implementation learning outcome number 1 above

Operation, calibration, safety, care and maintenance of analytical instrumentation

Data processing of infrared and uv‑visible spectral data


Regarding the FSS component standard it is important to demonstrate an understanding of the theory relating range of analytical procedures, specifically within the forensic context.


Regarding the FSS component standard demonstrate competence in operating a range of modern analytical instruments and be conversant with the use of related computer software


3. Process, chart and present analytical data using spreadsheets.


Presenting scientific data with an Excel spreadsheet( significant figures, number formats, absolute and relative addressing, creating formula, plotting scientific data)  

Processing of titrimetric data using an Excel spreadsheet.

Determination of titration end-points using derivative plots

Grans plots an Excel spreadsheet.

Determination of pKa from titration data an Excel spreadsheet.

Regarding the FSS component standard evaluate and interpret data from equipment applied to a range of forensic examinations.


4. Utilise molecular graphics applications to both create and study chemical structures



Use Biovia Draw or equivalent two-dimensional molecular structural drawing software to reinforce chemical concepts, terminology and structural display formats.

Create Kekule, condensed and shorthand structures using Biovia Draw

Use Biovia Draw to provide feedback on structures including valency, molecular weights and IUPAC names

Use Rasmol to examine in 3-D chemical structures of simple molecules including standard display formats(wireframe, sticks, ball and stick, spacefill), CPD (Corey, Pauling and Koltun) colouring schemes and export of structures between applications for reporting purposes

Use Rasmol to determine bond lengths, bond angles, torsion angles and other molecular features


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Practical Evaluation Laboratory assignment Formative Assessment - % OnGoing 1,2
2 Assignment Written assignment Formative UNKNOWN - % OnGoing 3,4
3 Written assessment and assignments Continuous Assessment Assessment 55 % OnGoing 1,3,4
4 Laboratory practical assessment Continuous Assessment Practical Evaluation 30 % OnGoing 2,3,4
5 Laboratory report Continuous Assessment Written Report 15 % OnGoing 2

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Basic operation of analytical instrumentation 3 Fortnightly 1.50
Problem Based Learning Computer Laboratory Computing and data processing 3 Fortnightly 1.50
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self study 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Becker, J. S. (2007) Inorganic mass spectrometry: principles and applications, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Bloch, S. C. (2000) Excel for engineers and scientists, New York: Wiley.

Broekaert, J. A. C. (2002) Analytical atomic spectrometry with flames and plasmas, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH.

Bryant, R. D. (2008) Investigating digital crime, Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons.

Currell, G. (2000) Analytical instrumentation: performance characteristics and quality, Chichester: Wiley.

Diamond, D. and Hanratty, V. C. A. (1997) Spreadsheet applications in chemistry using Microsoft Excel, New York: Wiley.

Goodman, J. M. and Royal Society of, C. (1998) Chemical applications of molecular modelling, Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Harris, Daniel C. Quantitative Chemical Analysis, 8th Edition (2007), Publ. W.H. Freeman and Company (Chapters 3-5) 

Harvey, G. (2010) Excel 2010 for dummies, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub.

Hinchliffe, A. (2000) Modelling molecular structures, Chichester: Wiley.

Marshall, A. M. (2008) Digital forensics: digital evidence in criminal investigation, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Nelson, B. (2006) Guide to computer forensics and investigations, Boston, Mass: Thomson Course Technology

Skoog, D. A., West, D. M. and Holler, F. J. (1996) Fundamentals of analytical chemistry, Fort Worth: Saunders College Pub.

Stuart, B. and Ando, D. J. (1996) Modern infrared spectroscopy, New York: Published on behalf of ACOL (University of Greenwich) by Wiley.

Volonino, L., Anzaldua, R (2008) Computer forensics for dummies, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub.

Journal Resources

Provided on Moodle

Other Resources

  Provided on Moodle

Additional Information

Provided on Moodle